On the final day of the World Amateur Team Championships in Japan, the South African team claimed a share of 29th at the Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club while Australia dealt Canada’s campaign in the Espirito Santo Trophy a stunning blow on Saturday.

The fickle weather changed from sunny skies on day one to relentless rain on Friday as the South Africans slipped from a tie for seventh in the first round to joint 28th in the third.

The trio failed to take advantage of the blue skies and warm weather on the final day and combined for a final round 150 to finish on 12-over-par 588 with Hong Kong and Iceland.

Michaela Fletcher from KwaZulu-Natal led the challenge at the Iriyama Course with a 74, while Cara Gorlei from Western Province added a 76 and Mpumalanga’s Monja Richards posted a non-counting 80.

Fletcher birdied the third, but gave the shot back at the fifth. After the double bogey at the par-three seventh, she traded two birdied for bogeys on the back nine.

“The short seventh had a pretty tough pin placement and it proved a challenge for Michaela,” said national coach Val Holland. “Unfortunately she made a double drop, but one again, she fought to the bitter end.

“Cara and Monja both had the kind of day where the birdie putts just didn’t drop and had a few errors each that cost them.

“The World Amateur Team Championship is an amazing event. The experience was fantastic, irrespective of our obvious disappointment in our overall performance.

“Not only did our players gained invaluable experience testing themselves on the international stage against the world’s top amateurs, but they will all go away having learned a great deal.”

Meanwhile the Canadian team looked on track for a wire-to-wire victory, they came up short against the lethal combination world number one Minjee Lee and team mate So Huyn Oh from Australia.

Lee and Oh blistered the course in respective rounds of 65 and 66 for a 131 to win the Australia’s first title since 2002 with a total score of 29-under-par 547.

Canada finished in second on 27 under 549, with Korea in third on 550.

FINAL RESULT (TOP 10)

547 (-29) Australia 144 138 134 131

549 (-27) Canada 135 139 135 549

550 (-26) Republic of Korea 137 140 134 139

556 (-20) Denmark 143 139 136 138

557 (-19) Sweden 143 135 141 138; United States of America 142 140 136 139

560 (-16) Mexico 142 139 139 140

562 (-14) England 147 134 139 142

562 (-14) Japan 144 132 139 147

563 (-13) Philippines 143 143 135 142

588 (+12) South Africa 142 144 152 150; Hong Kong 146 151 143 148; Iceland 149 147 144 148

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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